Rugby World Cup 2011: Samoa, Canada, Scotland Claim Wins
The fourth-day matches of Rugby World Cup 2011 saw Samoa, Canada and Scotland all claim victories. There was a variety of styles on show throughout the three games, with some individuals shining and showing that they will be players to watch as the tournament progresses.
Samoa 49 Namibia 12
The much-hyped Samoans got their campaign underway with a commanding performance over Namibia, which saw them crush the minnows in emphatic style.
After having beaten Australia expectations were high coming into the tournament, but question marks still lingered over whether they were the real deal.
Although a win over Namibia doesn't answer this question, the way they won shows that they are well on the way to being one of the teams to beat in the tournament.
Right from the word go, the island men imposed their dominance on the Namibians, as Kahn Fotuali'i ran in a try in the corner in the opening minute of the game.
And from there Samoa delivered a steady stream of points, which saw them lead 25-0 at the break.
The second half saw Namibia begin to fight back, but the game was safe with Samoa by this point, as they crossed for three more tries, including a penalty try, taking the final score to 49-12.
Special mention must go to Alesana Tuilagi for bagging three tries in a fine display of running rugby. Keep an eye out for him in coming matches, he's one to watch.
Canada 25 Tonga 20
The first genuine upset of the tournament saw Canada win a thriller against the more Tongan side. Tonga entered the game full of confidence following an encouraging display against the All Blacks last Friday night.
But they looked anything but the team that were so competitive with the New Zealanders in the second half of last week's match, failing to capitalise on opportunities and struggling to gain the same dominance up front.
They were met with a ferocious Canadian team, who defended brutally and were aggressive at the breakdown for the duration of the match.
After dominating most of the first half and holding a 10-0 lead, the Canadian defence let slip in the last minute before the break, letting Tonga cross to take the score to 10-7. It seemed this would be enough for Tonga as they had the benefit of a strong wind in the second half, and it seemed as though the try would be enough to swing momentum.
And it was that way for a while. As Tonga shot out to a 20-13 lead, with 17 minutes to go and all the momentum in their favour. It seemed as though it would be plain sailing from here on in.
No one told Canada this. An inspired performance in the last 15 minutes saw them grab two well created tries, and all of a sudden it seemed as though Tonga were the one's struggling.
With the score at 25-20 with just minutes to go Tonga had the ball in good position. But bad decisions cost them, leaving them wondering what could have been.
Scotland 15 Georgia 6
The final game of the night saw Scotland win a relatively boring game against Georgia. The skill level on display wasn't high, and both team's performances were built on guts and determination as much as anything.
Scotland looked to attack wide at times, but weren't clinical enough to finish anything off, being held try-less for the duration of the game.
They rode the back of Dan Parks, who kicked them into good field position, ensuring they played the game at the right end of the park. Parks kicked four penalties and a dropped goal to account for all of Scotland's points in what was one of the better kicking displays of the tournament.
Georgia looked to play the game tight, bringing a physical presence, particularly in the first ten minutes. But they never really looked like breaking the defence.
Even so, they did not disgrace themselves and showed that they are heading in the right direction and may be a competitive team in ten years time in the same way Italy have over the past decade.
Thursday sees the USA take on Russia in what promises to be an intense game between two minnows of the tournament.
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